Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

Grammar pedants online

In the Bridging the Unbridgeable project we’ve been trying to find out what people’s pet hates are. So far, we’ve done so directly by asking them in attitudes surveys, both online and face-to face, but another great source is to … Continue reading

Posted in usage features | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

No it didn’t: heighth as a usage problem

Last week, the book Transatlantic Perspectives on Late Modern English came out, edited by Marina Dossena. It includes two papers that are of interest to this project, one by Ulrich Busse, which deals with the usage guides by Alford (1864) and White … Continue reading

Posted in announcement, usage features | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Her Ladyship’s Guide to the Queen’s English

This is one of the most recent usage guides in our HUGE database, published in 2010. For my book on the usage guide as a genre, I decided to read it from cover to cover, just as David Crystal did with Fowler’s … Continue reading

Posted in usage guide | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

On REsearch again

January is a month of correction work in our department: I calculated that I corrected some 200,000 words (!) of student work last month. (I only got likes when I announced this on facebook in the beginning of January.) I’m … Continue reading

Posted in usage features | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

How many usage problems are there, Emily?

Yesterday, I commented on what looks like the omnipresence of the split infinitive in usage guides and other books that provide usage advice: Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style (2014) and Cherry Chappell’s How to Write Better Letters (2006). The split infinitive is also … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Better Write Letters

This is a copy of a book I accidentally found in the Leiden Free Bookshop the other day. It reminded me of eighteenth-century letter writing manuals, so I picked it up. And very much like Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style, its final … Continue reading

Posted in usage features | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How careful can you be …

I’m going through the final chapter of Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style (2014) to find out how many old chestnuts he discusses in his overview of usage problems. I’m always hoping to find new chestnuts, so we’ll wait and see. Of … Continue reading

Posted in usage features, usage guide | Tagged , | 2 Comments